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what sucks when you're trying to get pregnant?
husband and I were struggling to conceive a few years back, I, like many women,
turned to a combination of Western and Eastern medicine for help. A little IVF
here, a little acupuncture there, a shot of progesterone followed by a shot of
wheatgrass juice. It was imperative that I felt like our bases were covered,
like I was doing everything humanly possible to make my uterus the most
irresistibly comfy, cushiest spot.
writer, I spend a lot of time in coffee shops. I've been called a
laptop hobo on occasion. My spot of choice is Starbucks because they don't
laugh or sneer at me when I order a grande decaf caramel Americano with nonfat,
no-foam milk in a venti cup. But in 2010 and 2011, as romantic vacation sex
turned to Clomid-and-turkey baster turned to IVF, my favorite fix started
causing me trouble.
Research was coming out around that time suggesting that BPA, found in
plastic and some paper, might be linked to infertility. So I started worrying
that my cup might be functioning like a grande-sized birth control pill.
I shot up my meds in the bathrooms at Starbucks. I treated myself to scones when I read that gaining some weight might help me conceive.
My acupuncturist wanted me off of cow dairy, suggesting it might be
linked to increased system-wide mucus that could thwart even the best
intentioned of sperm. (Speaking of which, don't even ask me what the fertility chat room folks recommended we try using as lubricant. Hint: It can be found in your fridge and rhymes with 'leg tights.') Since Starbucks wasn't carrying goat milk, I switched to organic cow milk in an attempt to appease the spermicide gods, so I started
traveling BYOM-style, carrying a few inches of it in a thermos with me to work.
It's may be a myth that caffeine is linked with miscarriage, but it's
a hard-to-kill myth. In my mind, if caffeine could be that bad, I didn't want it in my system. True, I already drank
decaf, but what if the barista was bleary-eyed and accidentally gave me high-octane?
Yay, more to worry about.
Pre-babymaking, I used to shake a few Splendas into my drink. But part
of my fertility overhaul included dropping artificial sugars from my diet (I
also used to eat those 80-calorie yogurts that bridesmaids are always cooing
over in commercials) so the little yellow packets had to get the cold shoulder.
Starbucks is basically a cappuccino-scented daycare facility
Kids are everywhere. They're tearing into breakfast
sandwiches, sipping vanilla milk with their nannies, reaching out of strollers
toward the cookie packets near the cash register. When you
want nothing more than to be pregnant and you're surrounded by crumb-faced
moppets with names like Wolfgang and Saoirse, it can turn you bitter real quick.
I shot up
my meds in the bathrooms at Starbucks. I treated myself to scones when I read
that gaining some weight might help me conceive. I got the news I was pregnant
after our second IVF while seated at a communal table (a pregnancy that ultimately didn't last longer than a few days). I could go on and on about the sad shit that went down at Starbucks.
day, it changed.
finally get pregnant, and Starbucks quickly returned to being a fun place to
hang out and a free place to work. I no longer felt like ordering a Valium
Frappucino with a Lexapro drizzle. I returned to using their bathroom as a place to pee and not my private back alley medication-mixing lab. I've held onto many of the changes I made: I only buy organic milk and stick to real sugar, whether it's my daily coffee or my nightly Dark Chocolate Raisinettes.
When I gave birth to our first daughter, I'd
walk over to 'Bux with her in the Ergo carrier, dozing peacefully between my
boobs, and order my drink of choice, being careful not to drip on her head as I
sipped and strolled. Now, if I'm coming back from a 4-hour writing marathon
and have a short cup of vanilla soymilk in my hand for her, our oldest acts
like she's won the lottery.
When I'm writing and a mom walks by, 10-month-old
balanced on one hip and a macchiato on the other, my boobs let down as I think of our baby at home. Those days of freaking out over BPA in my latte or caf in my
decaf are a distant memory. And when I find myself in the drive-through with our
girls in the backseat, and our 3-year-old is calling out, "Can I have my
own coffee, please?!" I have to give myself a venti-sized pinch.